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Erskine’s 175th birthday party draws a crowd to Due West

Stage with balloons copyAlumni, students, families, and friends came together “Under the Towers” of the Erskine Building Saturday, Oct. 18 for Erskine’s 175th anniversary celebration, with food, music, and fun beginning at noon and continuing into the evening.

“Erskinefest” included traditional Homecoming and Family Day activities, special displays in Reid Hall by Archivist Edith Brawley ’58, and a screening of Due West of Ordinary, a documentary film in honor of the 175th anniversary.

King and Queen closeup
Kevin Adams, left, and Chelsea Ball

Highlighting the homecoming schedule was the presentation of the homecoming court at halftime of the men’s soccer match. An innovation this year was the election of a homecoming king, senior Kevin Adams of Columbia, in addition to a homecoming queen, senior and SCA President Chelsea Ball of Spartanburg. Members of the homecoming court for the freshman class were Annabelle Clinton and Elliot Jones; for the sophomore class, Cali Colbert and Michael Byrd; and for the junior class, Kate Macsay and Neal Stanley.

Family Day opportunities included the Silent Auction—conducted by the Parent Advisory Council and raising more than $3,100 for student activities and organizations—and a faculty tent, in which professors met with parents and students.

From left, Calvin Draffin, Lee Logan, Paul Kooistra, Sandi Kooistra

Vice President for Communications Cliff Smith opened the festival with words of welcome, and Due West Mayor Lee Logan ’67, a retired Erskine College administrator, presented a proclamation from the Town of Due West to Erskine President Dr. Paul Kooistra. The Rev. L. Calvin Draffin ’75, pastor of the Due West ARP Church, offered an invocation.

Music during the barbecue lunch was provided by the Erskine Choraleers and Gospel Choir. Singer and guitarist Shane Sniteman, son of Professor of Sociology Dr. Steve Sniteman, and singer Sarah Elizabeth Adams, an Erskine admissions counselor, also took the stage. Three guest bands—Emerald Road, Sirius.B, and the Fantastic Shakers—each offered music through the late afternoon and evening, and entertainment was provided by TimTV and Secret Cirkus. Bouncy Float - birthday partyhouses for children, a “Ghost Walk” led by Bowie Arts Center Director Ruth Burton, and guided group tours of the Erskine Building tower were also part of the fun.

The traditional float-building contest, “Fleet-O-Rama,” was held Friday night on Robinson Field and the floats were on display in the homecoming parade Saturday evening.

Dot Wise with photo
Dot Wise ’39, who is in the film, laughs as Vice President for Advancement David Earle displays a photo from her student days.

Leading up to Saturday’s events were a fall choral concert Thursday evening in which a setting of Psalm 89 by Dr. Rollo Dilworth (commissioned by Norman F. “Trip” McGill III ’82) was performed by the Choraleers; the Erskine Open tournament Friday morning; and a premiere showing of “Due West of Ordinary” Friday evening attended by filmmaker Will Frampton ’03, alumni and friends who appeared in the film, and others.

Cake with historic photos
The cake was decorated with historic Erskine images.

The 175th anniversary cake was cut by President Emeritus Dr. Randall T. Ruble ’59 (Sem. ’61) and former first lady Molly Ruble ’60; the homecoming king and queen also took part in the ceremony. Admissions Counselor Schadell Brooks ’13 led the singing of the Alma Mater.

See more photos of the 175th celebration here.





Erskine and Due West Skyline

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Erskine College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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